Chloé Yelena Miller ‘98 studied Italian language and literature at Smith. She worked in Florence, Italy for three years and returned to the United States to pursue an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, she teaches creative and composition writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ, where she is also a reader for The Literary Review. She has poems published or forthcoming in Alimentum, Lumina, Privatephotoreview.com, South Mountain Poets Chapbook, Spiralbridge.org and Threshold: Passages from Prague. Her manuscript, Permission to Stay, was a finalist for the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry. In the summer of 2007, she was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center.
The story of her exile undercooks
necessary protein. Blood leaks without heat.
No one eats; hunger, once homeless, nests.
Creases on her palms deepen like water
choked by the sand. Empty lines
dominate. Search lights, almost
fire, interrupt. Dogs bark face down into the scents.
Seagulls rummage between the living for food.
Now safe, she drinks, too thirsty.
Her husband summons food
from someone else's land
for someone else. She pours
the bottle her father fermented
underground, the ground she left,
where she could speak.
Originally published in SR 1:2 (March ’07), sinkreview.org